Sunday, February 22, 2015

Is Our Breakfast Cereal Is Making Us Fat? Maybe.

breakfast cereal makes you fat, does breakfast cereal make you fat

There are few things I love more than a huge bowl of Cinnamon Toast Crunch cereal. Seriously. The cinnamon-y sugar goodness on top of those little squares is better than, well...you know...a lot of things.

The thing is, a bowl of Cinnamon Toast Crunch (or just about any other cereal, for that matter) can do more diet damage than good.
Here are 3 reasons why cereal makes us fat:
  1. 1. We don't stick to one serving size. Who does? I don't. A serving of Cinnamon Toast Crunch is only 3/4 of a cup. Really? NO ONE eats only 3/4 of a cup. It's more like two cups. That's serious damage: 325 empty calories and 22 (!) grams of sugar, without even adding the milk. Try eating your cereal with a teaspoon, instead of a tablespoon and out of a coffee cup instead of a bowl to trick your mind you're eating more. (Tweet this).
  2. 2. We add too much dried fruit and other crap. Craisins, raisins, dried apricots and the like can all be fat pills. They have barely any water which means they're dense in calories. While nuts are great, don't go too far. Add a few, not a handful. Use fresh fruit to get the benefit of more fiber and water content to help fill you up. Try higher-fiber and lower calorie berries. Half a cup of raspberries, for example, have 4 grams of fiber. 
  3. 3. We eat kids cereal. There's a reason I don't keep Cinnamon Toast Crunch in the house: I would eat the whole box. These children's cereals provide a ton of sugar but little nutritional value. Kinda scary, actually. Look for cereals with fewer than 5 grams of sugar. Or make this oatmeal with peanut butter, apples and cinnamon. Delicious. 
Why I Gave Up Breakfast Cereal 
I gave up breakfast cereal about 15 years ago. Not coincidentally, I believe, I lost weight. I have no "off button" when it comes to breakfast cereal. I can't stop eating it, that's why I rarely eat Cinnamon Toast Crunch. Even when I'm trying to be "healthy" and have something like Fiber 1 or Kashi Go Lean, I usually end up eating two bowls of it and, you know what, I'm hungry a few hours later. Cereal is not a satiating food. In my opinion, it's a fat pill (Tweet this).

When you're eating breakfast, get some protein in the mix, whether it's eggs, whey protein powder, nut butter, low-sugar/high-protein yogurt or lean meat. Protein takes longer to digest than carbohydrates and keeps you full longer. 

I love two scrambled eggs with salsa and spinach with a side of berries or a green smoothie with whey protein powder (make it with two handfuls of spinach or kale, half a banana and whatever berries you or other fruit you have on hand). When all else fails, I'll grab a few hard boiled eggs (boil a half dozen of them at the beginning of the week).  If you can't give up your cereal, here are some low-sugar cereal options.

Do you like cereal or are you like me and try to keep out of the house? I'd love to know what your favorite breakfast is. Let me know in the comments section. 

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